The Dam of Aaqool & the Fire of Hijaz
The dam is an important recreational area of the people of Madinah. After rainfall, the valley of Qanaat flows and millions of cubic meters of its waters gather at the Aaqool Dam. It is a fascinating view; water as far as the eye can see. Experts say that Aaqool has the largest store of underground water in Madinah.
The formation of the Aaqool Dam is linked to the historically significant "Fire of Hijaz". The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam professed of the Fire of Hijaz, which was witnessed in 654 A.H. This fire threw volcanic lava and rocks into the Valley of Qanaat, blocking the water flow and forming a natural dam. In 690 A.H. water gradually eroded through the dam and the valley once again began to flow. Effects of the Fire of HIjaz; basalt and black rocks are still visible today at the site of the dam.
The Fire of Hijaz
Allah's Apostle sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam said, "The Hour will not be established till a fire will come out of the land of Hijaz, and it will throw light on the necks of the camels at Busra." Sahih Bukhari Hadith no. 7118
He further stated; "The Hour will not be established till a valley of the land of Hijaz will not flow with fire, throwing light on the necks of the camels at Busra." Fath ul Bari 13/80
Busra (Vowel led "u" not "a") i.e. a city between Tabuk and Syria, not the city of Basra in Iraq.
states, "The fire mentioned in this hadith appeared in 654 A.H. This fire was visible from Makkah, Yanbu, Taimaa and Busra. This proved that it was the very 'Fire of Hijaz' which the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam had foretold so that the people may take heed.
Allamah ibn Hjar
states, "The fire referred to in this hadith is the one witnessed on the outskirts of Madinah as is explained by Qurtubi and others"
(who was in Makkah at the time of the fire) states, "On the day of Friday in the afternoon this fire rose and the skies were blackened with its smoke and darkness prevailed. By night its flames could be seen. The fire looked like a big city south east of Madinah. It moved to Banu Quraidhah then spread to the east and finally went into Waadi Qanaat.
It moved on the surface of the ground pulverizing and melting mountains and rocks which stood in its path. Its flames were like towering mountains and extended ranges, throwing molten rocks in to the air like waves of the sea. It would move like a storm in the ocean. Its sound was like thunder of lightening. It lasted for three months so that people may take heed and fear the fire of the Hereafter.
This fire was visible from Makkah, Yanbu, the mountains of Sayah and Taimu, and Busra. It drove a large river of molten rock into the waadi which gathered at its end forming a natural dam. When water flowed in to the waadi it gathered at this dam in huge quantities until it formed a sea of water as far as the eye could see. In 690 A.H. the force of water gradually broke its way through the dam making it flow normally once again".
The Saudi Government built a number of dams on the river of Qanaat at Aaqool to efficiently utilise its water for agriculture and to protect Madinah from flood in case of over flow.
"Pictorial History of Madinah Munawwarah" by Dr. Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani